Reins to Recovery bringing back annual fundraiser


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The Mane Event is back.

Reins to Recovery Inc. Therapeutic Riding Center’s largest fundraiser is returning this year after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Celebrating its 12th year, the nonprofit organization’s fundraiser will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds, 750 W. County Road 200S, Columbus. The event, open to the public, will include a barbecue dinner, a live auction, a silent auction and face painting.

Admission is free, but freewill donations will be accepted for the dinner featuring pork barbecue sandwiches, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, cantaloupe, watermelon, sliced tomatoes, potato salad, drinks and desserts.

“Board members and volunteers purchased the food and donated it,” said Calli Johnson, executive director of Reins to Recovery. “We have some special, special individuals that step up and cook our hog and take care of all of that with their equipment.”

Face painting will be from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Items donated for the auctions are posted online at under the discussion tab. Items, baskets and sponsorships for the event are still being accepted.

“The main way we bring in our money is through our live and silent auctions,” Johnson said. “We get a lot of auction items. Now, we just need the people to show up to show their support and help us raise some money to keep our programs going.”

Proceeds will go toward general funding for Reins to Recovery’s therapeutic riding, equine-assisted psychotherapy and equine-assisted learning programs.

The therapeutic riding program is for children and adults with special needs, equine-assisted psychotherapy is for ages 5 and up who are victims of violence and abuse and equine-assisted learning is for at-risk youth with emotional disabilities and behavior issues.

While Reins receives scholarships and grants to help clients’ costs be reduced or free, Johnson said there are still overhead costs for the horses.

“Since 2008, last year was the first year we weren’t table to hold our annual event, so it was a big hit for us,” she said. “This event helps cover our overhead pretty much for the whole year so that we can continue to get our services low or no cost to our clients.”

Reins opened its doors in 2008 near Seymour. Then in 2016, the center moved to property along U.S. 31 just north of Reddington.

The annual fundraiser in the summer typically draws nearly 200 people and brings in between $10,000 and $12,000.

The only fundraiser Reins was able to do in 2020 was Holiday with the Horses, which allowed the public to visit with Santa and the horses and do arts and crafts.

“We’re hoping to do that again this year if all goes well,” Johnson said.

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